Convalidation of CPL To FAA

Hello, new over here, but it seems to be a nice and a professional place.

I’m a commercial pilot with 600hrs already, looking to convalidate my license with the FAA, a lot of ATP pilots friends of mine tell me that I don’t need to take the written test of commercial at FAA, that I just need to convalidate my commercial just as I did with private one, no written test… I called FAA today but they’re currently closed.

So I’d like to move fast, because it’s November and December comes just ahead and you know how governments offices are with festive days.

Thanks; hope to get a reply as soon as you can.

Happy flights🛩


I believe that’s correct as long as the license you possess is from an ICAO participating agency. You can find more info here:



I’m not 100% certain, but I do know that you need to take an FAA Commercial
check ride. In order to take any ride in the US the applicant needs to meet
the minimum requirements of said ride, i.e. flight time, medical, English
proficient, written, age, etc. Why would the writtens be exempt to these
Commercial Pilot requirements?

Again, I’ve only dealt with this situation once. A Filipino pilot came to
ATP and I remember having him do everything before scheduling his ride, but
I can’t remember if that was because we were playing it safe, or if it was
because it was required for him to be eligible.

I’ll dig around on the internet and see if I can find any credible info.


Okay. If you’re state-side, call your local FSDO to verify, BUT I’m pretty
sure I have it figured out based on what I remember. You have two options:

  1. you can get your commercial license with a foreign restriction. This
    does not require you to take a written. The ride will essentially be the
    equivalent of a BFR. (This is the part I am not so confident about. Doing a
    BFR may only get you a PPL with a foreign restriction. This is why you need
    to talk to the FSDO.)

  2. you can get your commercial license with your foreign restriction
    removed. This requires you to meet ALL of the FAA requirements. You’ll
    actually have to take a private check ride first, and then a commercial
    check ride, which means that you will have to take the PAR and CAX written.
    If you want to be able to fly commercially in IMC, or more than 50NM or at
    night, you will also have to get your Instrument rating too. No matter what
    you decide to do you need to compare your logbook with the requirements
    listed in the FARs. Each country has different standards. It is likely that
    your experience will not meet FAA standards. If your logbook doesn’t meet
    FAA standards, go do what’s required before scheduling your ride.

Again, the FSDO should be your main source of info. These kinds of
situations come up so rarely it’s hard for me to remember all of the


Thanks for these replies, I already have a PPL faa based on foreign, that’s why I’m a little confuse…

I read FARs part 61 and I’m up to date with all the requirements for the commercial certificate. So I’m not sure.

I’ll call the FSDO upon they open on Monday.

Thank you Tory and Adam.

Please let us know what they say. I’m curious.


He wants to know who’s right? :wink:


I should have given up a long time ago :wink:

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Never give up!

For my own sake, I’d like to know the REAL answer regardless of who’s right
or wrong.

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Hahaha, right, I’ll let you know!!